Dec 2014: Notes from the Kitchen

Vero, on the Skip Garden Kitchen Bike Summer Project

Being given the opportunity to run the Skip Garden Kitchen’s bicycle made for the ideal summer! With the help of generators, we literally brought a piece of the Skip Garden out to the public in sunny Granary Square, right beside the food stalls run by KERB and the fountains where children and parents cooled down under the scorching sun! It wasn’t always easy, but with every week we tried out new food to sell and figured out what did and didn’t sell well in addition to trying out different ways in which we could make the most of our visibility in the square. While we stuck to our usual ‘main and two/three fresh salads’, we also experimented by, for example, selling paprika potato wedges with babaganoush or hummus for those who wanted something on the go. We also offered a range of sweet treats, including Kira’s famous cupcakes! Very quickly we developed a group of regulars, particularly students attending a summer programme at Central Saint Martins who came running straight to the bike when they were let out for lunch!

Over the weeks, I saw the generators’ confidence grow as we learnt how to work as a team, started to understand what is involved in running a successful business, and learnt how to make delicious vegetarian food. After every day, we brainstormed what made our day more or less successful than previous days as well as what could have gone better. Whether it was working on the branding, taking Skip Garden business cards and Kitchen loyalty cards, we were constantly thinking of generating more publicity for the Skip Garden. As the weather started changing at the end of summer, we realised we had to tweak our menu accordingly. Cold, windy days did not make fresh salads as appealing as warming soups and homemade bread - so it was time to finally make full use of the bike’s two hobs! Responding to the changing weather and demands from the public meant that we could bring up our sales yet again.

The Skip Garden bike team was so successful that we were even asked to cater for other events  including King’s Cross Roman festival and Steam Extravaganza. Those days were amongst our busiest and would not have been possible had it not been for our previous exposure earlier in the summer. 

All in all, it was a fantastic summer working with generators to learn the tricks of the market trade and I can’t wait to see what next summer has in store for us in our new location!